A Cold Snap. 12 June 2021


It has been an uncommon week here in the Central tablelands of New South Wales. A polar blast caused a major weather event which brought snow to many areas, including higher parts around Mudgee. In fact, when the clouds parted briefly on Thursday morning, we could see snow on the hills to the south of our house. This is a rare occurrence. The snow didn’t remain for very long, and by Friday morning there was none to be seen.

I am joining in with the Six on Saturday crowd today. This group of inspiring plantlovers shares what’s happening in their garden on a Saturday. In mine, not a great deal, but to enjoy gardens around the world, you can go to The Propagator’s blog and see what’s happening in different places and different seasons.

In my first photo, above, is part of the back garden with a few Autumn leaves clinging tenaciously to the Pyrus. Gaura stems have also been good value, providing red colour for at least a month.

Two: Sedum “Autumn Joy’ remains a focal point and I can’t help admiring its dark chocolate seed heads even as it begins to tuck itself up for the winter. I think it combines well with the Poa poiformis ‘Kingsdale’ next door.

Three: Many Australian native plants choose to flower at this time of the year, and for this I am grateful. The wattles are preparing to burst forth in the next month, but Correas are already blooming. Above, Correa reflexa ‘Jester’ is delighting us with its salmon pink and yellow flowers. It’s sometimes called the Australian fuschia…….. grabbing at straws a bit, but it’s pretty, all the same.

Four: These tendrils of ribbon-like petals belong to a Nerine. I have a number in the garden, but nearly all the flowers were damaged by frost before the buds opened. This one, which shelters under the Ceonothus, has survived.

Five: I am developing a shady spot under the Chinese Tallow, and here a petite cyclamen has managed to survive. I planted it more than a year ago, and it seems to be quite happy in this position. They are so pretty with their nuns’ cornettes and their marbled leaves.

Six: Erica ‘Winter Fire’ quietly goes about its business and every year I’m surprised when I see it flowering in its unassuming way. It gets no attention and yet has a bright demeanour when colour is needed in the cold winter months.

Those are my six, in a week that was one of surprises: rain, snow, and a day when the temperature struggled to reach a top of 6 degrees.

Weather in Mudgee today: cloudy, 4 – 13 degrees C.

Happy gardening everyone.

50 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    The temperatures are dropping for you when here they are rising! We soon reach 30°C and a beautiful sun. I do like the Correa flowers which are both colorful and elegant.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred. It has been especially cold here for the last few days.

  2. What a lovely six! I am always interested what plants we grow in common. The sedum and the correa (but not Jester), the nerines and the cyclamen, all coping with quite different environments. Plants are wonderful! Hope you are keeping cosy.

    1. Jane says:

      Plants are indeed wonderful, and where would we be without them? Especially this last year when everything has been so strange (to say the least) it has been good for the soul to get out in the garden. We have had the fire going, so the house is quite warm. Apart from this last week when it was cold and wet, the weather has been lovely after the morning frost is over.

  3. Your garden is delightfully colourful for this time of year, Jane. I love that correa. With a nod to the sedum chocolate coloured seed heads, it is definitely hot chocolate weather.
    I’ve not seen any snow. That may have something to do with my head being buried in my scarf.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m surprised you didn’t see snow in Canberra, Tracy, I thought there would be some up on the Brindabellas. Yes, chocolate is the order of the day, hot or cold for me! The autumn colours in the garden are almost at an end, but already there are a few narcissi flowering. A bit early.

      1. Jane, too lazy to go out in the cold to check. We have early flowering camellias but otherwise fairly dreary. Sun out today thank goodness.

  4. lisinmayenne says:

    I love the quality of light in your first photo, Jane. There’s certainly a contrast in our weather this weekend, we are heading into the 30s and seeking shade! Lovely to see that petite cyclamen, I’m hoping to naturalise some autumn ones under the trees. Keep warm and have a lovely weekend. 😊

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Lis. Good luck with your cyclamens, they’re such sweet flowers. I wouldn’t mind a 30 degree temp as there’s still a lot of cold weather ahead of us and July and August are the worst for frost.

  5. The weather for the week was very unusual – even for us here in Queensland! It was cold, but luckily no snow! Your garden is looking good. I do like the Correa flowers. I was tempted to get one, and now I’m convinced I should!! I bought a very small Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ so I am hoping for wonders from it next season. I have not grown one before, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it is doing. Love the Cyclamen. I have a lot of tiny ones that I am trying to encourage to grow, and I’m hoping they can go out into the garden too. Here’s hoping the weather continues to improve!

    1. Jane says:

      I think you should definitely get a Correa (or two) as I think they’re pretty happy anywhere and should do well for you too. Sedum will grow very quickly and soon give you the opportunity to take offshoots as well.

      1. You have convinced me! I will order a Correa (or 2 🙃). I think I potted up my Sedum. It was tiny. I will have to check on it as I’ve only had it for a month or two. Have a lovely gardening week.

  6. Megan Hall says:

    It’s lovely to see another southern hemisphere garden, and one with such lovely plants. I have never seen a Correa before — it’s very pretty. I wonder if the nerine and the erica are South African or just similar? Very nice either way. And I am a great fan of cyclamen. Very tough and the foliage is great too.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m no expert, but I think Nerines do come from South Africa, and Erica is a northern hemisphere plant. I’m sure Correas would grow well where you are as SA plants do well here and seem to have similar requirements to our natives.

      1. Megan Hall says:

        There are many local ericas, but many similar plants, quite possibly also ericas, in parts of the UK (heath kind of things). I don’t know about in other parts of the world. 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s always lovely to see your interesting garden, and I get more ideas for plants! I think Correas are one of the most rewarding plants in our garden, although they took a while to take off. I really like your ”Winter Fire” I’ll look out for that one. Thanks for the tour, and keep warm.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your comment! Not sure who you are, but I’m guessing you are in Australia. ‘Winter Fire’ has been a bit slow too, but I neglected to prune it (forgot it was there during summer) so that probably didn’t help. Will do better this year!

      1. Gerrie Mackey says:

        Hi Jane, Your ‘anonymous’ comment was from me, Gerrie from Canberra’s Green Spaces” ..I’ll have to pay attention to that next time! I enjoyed your post, and we will think about planting ‘Winter Fire’ for our garden.

        1. Jane says:

          I wondered if it was you, Gerrie. Thanks for ‘owning up’!😊

  8. A lovely selection. The sedum is particulary spectacular. They’re such good plants, providing nearly all year round interest.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, One Man. You’re right about the Sedum, in no time it will be sending up new shoots.

  9. You have a really nice selection of fall colors. It really stretches the gardening year.

    1. Jane says:

      The colours have been the best this year, I think, for for some time. Pretty much at an end now….a couple of dreary months ahead. I’ll have to get my colour from northern hemisphere posts.

  10. I love the colour of your Pyrus in the first photo against those moody skies – it’s good to be reminded that winter has it’s magic too, and the snow sounds quite exciting, being such a rare event. Love the cyclamen, they are magical little plants. Lovely selection of plants all round.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Sel, its easy to dread winter, but it does have its upside, as you say. However, we’re about to enter the coldest part of the year, so I’ll have to be looking carefully to find bright spots. Some spears of bulbs are beginning to appear, so I’ll be watching them!

  11. Roguegarden says:

    I appreciate your observations re color and structure provided by gaura and sedum. Correa is delightful and nerrine and winter fire well worth looking into. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. It’s great to share plants in the blogosphere, isn’t it.

  12. What wonderful winter flowers! I was never keen on Autumn Joy – but I love that one and the seedheads. Mine would have flopped and turned into mush before looking that good.

    1. Jane says:

      I know Autumn Joy to be probably the most common of the sedums, but I forgive it because it’s such a reliable plant and so easy to grow. It’s a wonder mine hasn’t turned to mush though, as we’ve had so much rain.

      1. Mine never stood up and were asked to leave the garden. yours still look great.

  13. Heyjude says:

    I think your winter garden is looking lovely, the sedum heads are magnificent. The Correa is a beauty, it grows here too, on the George V walk I have seen two different colour combinations. Probably too exposed in my garden. And anyway I have run out of room!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Jude. We are entering the greyish months now, but there are green spears of bulbs appearing and even some narcissi beginning to flower, which seems a bit early to me. Perhaps they’ve been brought on a bit by all the rain we’ve had. Sedum is a common plant, but it just keeps on giving, doesn’t it.

  14. Kris P says:

    I hope you have a gentle winter, Jane, with plenty of rain but not too much at one time. We’re sliding into what promises to be an exceptionally difficult summer, given the paltry rainfall we had this year. I love your Correa ‘Jester’. I’ve been looking for some new varieties to add to my garden and, if I saw that one here, I’d grab it up!

    1. Jane says:

      We’ve had a lot of rain, and the garden is soggy. I’m grateful for it though, as the weather could just as easily turn dry again. I’ve heard about the dire predictions for California and do hope they won’t eventuate, or at least be less serious. Good luck in your search for Correa, Kris, they’re tough plants as well as flowering prolifically.

  15. The sedum is lovely. Guess the cold weather will be headed here next.

    1. Jane says:

      Possibly that system will go over to you. Batten down the hatches if it does!

  16. Lovely selection of plants this week – some familiar to us in the Northern hemisphere, others are new to me. The Correa is very jolly with its red and yellow bells.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s a pity the Correa doesn’t flower at Christmas!

  17. Wasn’t it an icy week! Even here the temperature plummeted, especially overnight. I have a rogue cherry tomato which self sowed in my rose garden and it’s been happily producing delicious tomatoes for months. It’s still covered in green fruit so we’ve covered it in the hope that if we get frost it will survive. All good so far.

    Even in winter your garden looks pretty and there’s still plenty of colour.

    1. Jane says:

      Good luck with the tomato. Even if it doesn’t ripen….green tomato pickle??
      We have had a really beautiful autumn and the colours around town have been the best I can remember, but there’s not a lot left now. A few bulbs are beginning to make an appearance.

      1. We have dozens of green tomatoes still coming on so pickles are a possibility. If it warms up again they’ll ripen.

  18. paolsoren says:

    The cold was quite extreme even for Ballarat but the rain and wind caused a lot of damage. But your garden looks like it weathered the weather well.

  19. Yes, cold in the Southern Highlands too. No snow but a few solid frosts which just about did my Mexican Fuchsias in. I cut all their limp flowering branches and hope for the best.
    I love your photos, especially the first one.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m surprised you didn’t receive any snow, Gerard. I hope your fuchsias survive.

  20. Cathy says:

    That does sound cold for your part of the world. The garden looks gloriois though! 😃

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Cathy. Yes, it was cold. We do get a lot of frosts, but the days are normally lovely afterwards.

  21. Your garden is full of colour, even in midwinter. I hadn’t thought of the cyclamen flowers as looking like nun’s headgear, I will from now on. 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Granny. I don’t suppose any nuns where headgear like that nowadays, so I was thinking of last century!

  22. shoreacres says:

    The heat here has been — noticeable, shall we say. It’s certainly nice to see your autumn colors, and remember that this heat will pass, in about four months. It’s not unusual, it’s just always a surprise when it shows up.

    Is Chinese Tallow native there? I suspect not, given its name, but perhaps it is. It’s one of our very worst invasives. It provides nice color in the autumn, but it does its best to run everything else out of the neighborhood. It’s a real scourge.

    1. Jane says:

      And I’m here telling myself‘ This cold will pass an a few months and it will be warm again’! We have been hearing about the drought in California however, and that’s another matter altogether…..
      Chinese tallow isn’t a native and in fact it’s on a government website which suggests a number of preferable trees. I wouldn’t say they’re are a scourge though. We have just been on a short touring holiday further west, and quite a few towns had large old tallows which were cloaked in their autumn colours in their main streets. They were glorious, and turned some ordinary streets into places of beauty.

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